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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 2562


Senator ABETZ (Tasmania) (16:26): The Hon. Jocelyn Newman AO will be rightly remembered for her many fine attributes: lawyer, wife, mother, army wife and Defence Force advocate, women's shelter founder, senator, cabinet minister, grandmother and, indeed, even a former Miss Melbourne University—a well-rounded life devoted to her family, her sex, her state and her nation, a true champion with whom I had the honour of serving my Senate apprenticeship.

It was an honour to be able to represent you, Mr President, at the recent memorial service celebrating the life of the Hon. Jocelyn Newman AO. The tributes paid to her on that occasion by former Prime Minister John Howard and her grandchildren were as good a send-off as one could wish for. Today she has received even more deserved accolades, and I appreciate in particular Senator Fifield's fine contribution in that regard. Her public life is on the record and speaks for itself. Suffice to mention two quick issues, which of course were very big issues: the formation of Centrelink in her ministerial capacity and the beginning of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme in her capacity as senator for Tasmania.

When you have the privilege of working closely with a person, you get to appreciate the real person and you see the real person, so let me give a brief personal insight. Jocelyn was a true lady with a steely determination, a loving nature and a good sense of humour, a woman whose love of husband and family were always foremost in her mind, a woman who held her own in any debate through intellectual prowess and rigour and had a capacity to articulate. An issue dealt with was an issue to be forgotten, and you moved forward. It was a privilege to be an apprentice to Senator Newman.

I extend to her family my sincere condolences, noting that the Tasmanian Liberal Party has been holding minutes of silence at the various meetings right around the state of Tasmania in recognition of her excellent service to the Liberal Party, the state of Tasmania and our nation of Australia. May she rest in peace.